Overstreet’s Favorite Films: 1996

Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 1996.

In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here.

Red = Treasures
Purple = Favorites
Blue = Achievements
Gray = Decent/Noteworthy
Green = Unseen or Undecided
* = This film was discovered after the year in question and added in a list revision.


  1. Secrets and Lies
  2. Fargo
  3. La Promesse*
  4. Ponette*
  5. Waiting for Guffman
  6. Flirting with Disaster
  7. Trainspotting
  8. Lone Star
  9. Dead Man
  10. Bottle Rocket
  11. Big Night
  12. Basquiat
  13. Mars Attacks!
  14. Breaking the Waves
  15. The Pillow Book
  16. James and the Giant Peach
  17. Mission: Impossible
  18. Hamlet (dir. Kenneth Branagh)
  19. When We Were Kings*
  20. The Whole Wide World
  21. Sling Blade
  22. Paradise Lost: The Child murders at Robin Hood Hills
  23. Shall We Dance?
  24. Shine
  25. Everyone Says I Love You
  26. The Crucible
  • The Cable Guy
  • Jerry McGuire
  • Stealing Beauty
  • The King of Masks
  • The English Patient
  • Romeo + Juliet
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • Looking for Richard
  • Emma
  • Fly Away Home
  • Jude
As-yet Unseen or Unratable Films of 1996
A Chef in Love
A Couch in New York (Chantal Akerman)
A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
A Question of Trust
A Self-Made Hero (Jacques Audiard)
A Summer’s Tale (Eric Rohmer)
Beautiful Thing (Hettie Macdonald)
Beavis and Butt-head Do America (Mike Judge)
Berenice (Michael Gitlin)
Beyond Silence
Blood & Wine
Bound (Lana and Andy Wachowski)
Brigands – Chapter VII (Otar Iosseliani)
Capitaine Conan (Bertrand Tavernier)
Carla’s Song
Chronicle of a Disappearance (Elia Suleiman)
Comrades, Almost a Love Story (Peter Chan)
Crash (David Cronenberg)
Dead Sure aka The Insurance Agent (Tikoy Aguiluz)*
Deep Crimson (Arturo Ripstein)
Elective Affinities (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani)
Encore (Pascal Bonitzer)
Fly Away Home
Freeway (Matthew Bright)
Gabbeh (Moshen Makhmalbaf)
Get on the Bus (Spike Lee)
Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Hamsun (Jan Troell)
Hard Core Logo (Bruce McDonald)
Hard Eight (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Hommes, femmes, mode d’emploi
Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
Kansas City (Robert Altman)
Kids Return (Takeshi Kitano)
Les voleurs (Andre Techine)
Love Serenade (Shirley Barrett)
Manny & Lo (Lisa Krueger)
Marvin’s Room
Mary Reilly
Matilda (Danny DeVito)
Michael Collins (Neil Jordan)
Mon Homme (Bertrand Blier)
My Sex Life or: How I Got Into an Argument (Arnaud Desplechin)
Nénette et Boni (Claire Denis)
Nightjohn (Charles Burnett)
Normal Life (John McNaughton)
Oriental Elegy (Aleksandr Sokurov)
Parfait amour! (Catherine Breillat)
Party (Manoel de Oliveira)
Pretty Village Pretty Flame
Prisoner of the Mountain (Sergei Bodov)
Remembrances of Kansas City Swing
Ridicule (Patrice Leconte)
Robert Altman’s Jazz ’34:
Small Faces
Study of a River
Temptress Moon (Chen Kaige)
The Day the Pig Fell Into the Well (Hong Sang-soo)
The Delta (Ira Sachs)
The Funeral (Abel Ferrara)
The Leopard Son
The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story
The Other Side of Sunday
The People vs. Larry Flynt
The Quiet Room (Rolf de Heer)
The Suicide
The Sunchaser (Michael Cimino)
The Wind in the Willows
The Winner (Alex Cox)
Three Lives and Only One Death (Raul Ruiz)
Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
To Have and to Hold (John Hillcoat)
Trees Lounge
Un air de famille (Cedric Klapisch)
Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener)
Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz)
When It Rains (Charles Burnett)
Will It Snow for Christmas?
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